“What are you doing, Honey?” I asked my wife one evening.
“Making my lunch for tomorrow,” she replied.
“Making your lunch for tomorrow, why?” I asked. “Its 14 hours before you have to be to work…why not wait till 7:25 tomorrow morning, like me?”
My name is Dan -- and I am a procrastinator.
When I was in college I usually started my term papers the night before they were due and then stayed up all night to type them (usually by sitting in the bathtub with a board across the tub for the typewriter to sit on. Seriously, I’m not making that up;I didn’t want to keep my wife and daughters awake). A friend named Lee had his done a couple weeks before they were due. How he did that I will never know.
I have discovered that I put off doing a lot of stuff:
Packing for a trip
Filling the car up with gas
Going through the mail
Filling out reports
Some guys do their Christmas shopping for their wives at about 2:00 on Christmas Eve. I told a friend one time that I was different from all of them – I PLAN to do my shopping at 2:00 on Christmas Eve.
I put off going to the dentist, doing my exercises, raking the yard, even writing this article.
One time when I was reading through the Gospel of Mark in the New American Standard Version, one word seemed to keep popping up…the word “immediately.” In the Greek its “euthus.” It’s used 53 times in the NT, but 39 of those are found in Mark! So that’s just 14 times for the rest of the 26 books in the NT! I realize it’s a bunch of verses to look at, but to sort of give you the full impact, here they are:
Mark 1:3 Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths immediate.
Mark 1:10 And immediately coming up out of the water
Mark 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness
Mark 1:18 And immediately they forsook their nets
Mark 1:20 And immediately he called them
Mark 1:21 And immediately on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue
Mark 1:28 And immediately his fame spread abroad
Mark 1:29 And immediately…they entered into the house
Mark 1:30 And immediately they tell him of her
Mark 1:42 And…immediately the leprosy departed from him
Mark 1:43 And immediately sent him away
Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit
Mark 2:12 And immediately he arose
Mark 3:6 And immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him
Mark 4:5 And some fell on stony ground…and immediately it sprang up
Mark 4:15 And Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word
Mark 4:16 When they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness
Mark 4:17 And afterward, when affliction… ariseth…immediately they are offended
Mark 4:29 Immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come
Mark 5:2 And … immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit
Mark 5:29 And immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up
Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of Him
Mark 5:42 And immediately the damsel arose, and walked
Mark 6:25 And she came in immediately with haste unto the king
Mark 6:27 And immediately the king sent an executioner
Mark 6:45 And immediately he constrained his disciples to get into the ship
Mark 6:50 And immediately he talked with them…Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid
Mark 6:54 And when they were come out of the ship, immediately they knew him
Mark 7:25 For (immediately) a certain woman…heard of him, and came and fell at his feet
Mark 8:10 And immediately he entered into a ship with his disciples
Mark 9:15 And immediately all the people…were greatly amazed
Mark 9:20 and when he saw him, immediately the spirit tare him
Mark 9:24 And immediately the father of the child cried out…Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Mark 10:52 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way
Mark 11:2 And immediately…ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat
Mark 11:3 Say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and immediately he will send him hither.
Mark 14:43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve
Mark 14:45 He goeth immediately to Him, and saith, Master, master
Mark 15:1 And immediately in the morning the chief priests held a consultation
Immediately, immediately, immediately.
When I saw that it spoke to my heart about the fact that not only was Jesus’ life filled with purpose, but there was also a tremendous sense of urgency to His mission!
The dictionary defines procrastination this way:
1) To defer action, delay until an opportunity is lost
2) To put off till another day or time
3) To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.
4) To postpone or delay needlessly.
Habitual laziness? That can’t possibly be the reason why I defer, dally, dawdle, delay, and drag my feet! But there is a verse in Ecclesiastes that speaks to this procrastination thing. In 10:18 it says this, “Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks.” You mean at the root of me being Procrastinator Extraordinaire is laziness? That can’t possibly be true.
But there simply are some things though that you CANNOT put off.
Saying "I love you" to your wife each day. I bet some of the husbands in the Twin Towers on 9/11 wished they had said, “Honey, I just want you to know that I love you” before they left the house that ill-fated morning.
Hugging your kids (and your grandkids)
Calling your mom
Calling your dad
Giving your heart to Jesus. A teenage boy named Teddy mowed the church lawn where I used to be the pastor. He was about 16 and was such a nice kid. But late one Saturday I received a heart-rending phone call. Teddy was driving his car down highway B but when he went to cross the four lane highway, he never made it. Paul said in II Corinthians 6:2, “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” You may think you have tomorrow, but you don’t.
“To delay until an opportunity is lost.” That should sober us up a little bit concerning the precious commodity of “time.” Your life can change forever in just a moment. Don’t delay, defer and drag your feet in spiritual things. Make every day count!
Dan Vander Ark
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